02/28/2006 12:00AM

Philly raises Cotillion value


Buoyed by the imminent prospect of slot-machine revenue, Philadelphia Park has announced a purse increase and bonus tie-in for one of its marquee events, the Cotillion Breeders' Cup Stakes for 3-year-old fillies.

The Grade 2 Cotillion, to be run Oct. 7, will now be worth $500,000, up from $300,000 last year. And if the Cotillion winner goes on to capture the Breeders' Cup Distaff, to be run Nov. 4 at Churchill Downs, a $250,000 bonus will be paid to the winning owner.

Philadelphia Park's racing secretary, Sal Sinatra, said Tuesday that track officials were "just trying to secure the Cotillion in its spot," four weeks before the BC Distaff. "With the new money we'll have coming in with the slots, we're trying to get the race a little more exposure."

Slots were approved for Pennsylvania racetracks in 2004 and could become reality at Philly Park this summer, track officials have said. Sinatra said the track has purchased an insurance policy for the bonus offering.

The purse for the 1 1/16-mile Cotillion now includes $100,000 in Breeders' Cup funds. Two years ago, Ashado pulled off the Cotillion-Distaff double en route to being voted champion 3-year-old filly.